"I expect this is going to be a very difficult RFP season," Financial Industry Regulatory Authority manager of corporate travel services Carol McDowell said in June during The BTN Group's Trends & Forecasts event in Washington, D.C. "I was hopeful last year, but last year was really difficult. The main driver is that conferences, conventions and citywides are back big-time, and hotels don't know whether they want to give away the rooms." The U.S. hotel industry currently is experiencing "very steady demand increases," STR president Amanda Hite said in June during the New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. Through April, year-over-year demand growth was 3.8 percent, which was much higher than anticipated, she added. While transient demand growth has led the recovery, U.S. hotels also saw an increase in group demand during the first four months of this year. Those increases were spread evenly between luxury and upper upscale hotels, Hite said. Get the full story at Business Travel News